Being a wedding guest in Singapore comes with extra costs. Here's how to celebrate the union of loved ones without breaking the bank.
It’s only June, but you have already attended four weddings with another invite awaiting your RSVP. Have you ever wondered how much money you actually spend in a year on other people’s weddings in Singapore?
We’re not just talking about the ang pows or gifts for the happy couple. There are other costs involved, too: The perfect dress, which you quickly realise does not go with any one of the 50 pairs of shoes you own, so new shoes; getting your hair and make-up done, a manicure and pedicure, a round-trip Uber ride or parking fare, and on occasion, a plane ticket.
Now multiply that by (insert the average number of invites you receive a year). You could easily plunk down thousands a year for a guest appearance in someone else’s special day (and Facebook album). Are you really surprised?
As with most financial conundrums, we would advice you to plan and save ahead, and be smart and savvy about what you buy and how you pay for them. You may not be able to predict how many weddings you will actually attend in 2018, but you must have a ballpark figure.
Make a mental note of how much you can afford to budget for each one, and try your darnedest not to bust it. You might also consider setting aside a sum of money — a sort of fund to celebrate others’ lives — in your financial planning, or designate a credit card for that purpose so that you can earn points or redeem vouchers just for these events.
Here, let us give you a few examples.
Shop for Gifts As Soon As You RSVP
Practicality never goes out of style. Ask your married friends and chances are they will tell you some of the most appreciated wedding gifts they had received included a Smeg mixer, Dyson fan, or a five-star Four Seasons getaway they wouldn’t necessarily spend on. Not with what they’ve already blown on the wedding, honeymoon and their BTO flat.
The trick is not to be an 11th hour shopper. As soon as you’ve RSVP-ed, look out for good deals and sales. That’s when you swoop in and make a remarkable saving on an otherwise pricey gift.
For example, you should totally take advantage of what’s left of the GSS at Lazada (get S$200 Lazada vouchers or discounts with Lazada credit card promotions). GSS is still happening at TANGS, where attractive discounts for household items abound.
Repurpose or Rent Your Wedding Outfit
Admit it: half the fun of weddings is dressing up for it and having a guilt-free valid excuse to buy a new outfit. But make no rookie mistake, you don’t want to be so psyched about it that you wind up buying a one-wear wonder. Read: Bad investment.
If you are on a tight budget, fashion something from your wardrobe. More often than not, there’s something there, if you look hard enough and exercise creativity. Alternatively, repurpose an old dress, or raid your best friend’s wardrobe. That could save you a couple of hundred bucks, easily. If you must have something new, you can always rent designer clothes in Singapore.
Get There with Promo Codes and Cashback
So you’ve taken care of your outfit and the gift or ang pow. But there are other expenses involved that people don’t always consider, such as transport. It may not seem much for one wedding, but if you are a popular gal/guy with many friends, it will add up.
If you drive, there’s petrol and parking to add to the tab. If you’re taking a taxi/Uber/Grab, a return trip would cost at least S$20. We hope you have a Citi Cash Back card because it’s going to save you some money — discounts and cash back at various petrol stations; 20% cash back on all Grab rides until July 6, 2017 (new cardmembers get S$120 cash back and seven free Grab rides!).
If Uber’s more of your kind of ride, you earn S$150 in Uber credits just for signing up for the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card. Terms and conditions apply.
How to Save Money Attending Overseas Weddings
It’s bound to happen: a childhood friend having a resort wedding in Bali, or a cousin tying the knot in Wales where she now resides. It’s going to cause a major dent in your budget, but you have little choice but to go the extra mile for this party, literally.
There are a few things you can consider to cut your losses:
- Guests usually get the heads up well in advance. The moment you RSVP, start sussing out a good deal via booking sites such as Expedia and Agoda, or directly via airlines. You’ll do well to sign up for their emails to keep abreast of the latest promotions.
- Since you’re probably not going to be the only guest from the same circle, gather the pack to share an Airbnb villa.
- Remember that air miles credit card you've been using? Check if you have enough miles to redeem an air ticket
- Send your regrets along with a very good gift from their wishlist, which is still way less expensive than attending in person
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By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.
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